Dementia UK recruits more Admiral Nurses

18 November 2013

“I've always been interested in mental health and love working with the elderly. As a society, mental health is rarely seen in a positive way and it is still misunderstood"

Cheryl is an Admiral Nurse for the charity, Dementia UK. She provides support to the families of people with dementia and staff working in residential homes in Surrey. She originally trained as a mental health nurse and comes from a long line of nurses, including her gran, mum and sister. Caring is second nature to Cheryl but she thinks working with people with mental health issues – especially dementia – requires time and patience.

“There was a lady who had lived at the residential home for 15 years but was getting more and more confused, waking up in the middle of the night and going in to other people's bedrooms, which was distressing for other residents. By talking to her and her relatives, we discovered that she had been a postwoman all her life and was used to waking up early. She didn't mean to disturb the other residents' sleep; she was just trying to deliver the post. Once I realised this, I asked the staff to save all of their old letters, tape them up and put them by her bed at night. We encouraged her to slide them under people's doors rather than going in. Now she's happy, calm and we avoided the use of medication or moving her to a specialist dementia unit. It sounds simple – but you need to have the time and willingness to understand dementia. Cheryl, Admiral Nurse

Cheryl runs a relatives’ support group where people can share experiences and find relief in knowing that they are not alone. People’s Health Trust grant has enabled Dementia UK to further develop their work, providing vital outreach support in Surrey.


 

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